Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 327


result :
Not available
Estimate :
Subscribers only

A COPPER ALLOY ‘MANDARIN DUCKS’ BOX AND COVER, TANG DYNASTY China, 618-907. Both sides of the flat circular box are finely chased on ring punched ground, the cover neatly incised with a pair of mandarin ducks perched atop large lotus blossoms borne on leafy stems, one holding a ribbon in its beak, surrounded by finely incised butterflies, birds, and foliage. The reverse with two birds perched atop chrysanthemum blossoms in a similar landscape. Provenance: English trade. Acquired from a Japanese private collection. Condition: Excellent condition, commensurate with age. Old wear, traces of use, manufacturing flaws, few tiny nicks, minuscule dents. The bronze with a dark, naturally grown patina with malachite encrustations. Weight: 28.9 g Dimensions: Diameter 4.3 cm With a Japanese wood box. (2) A pair of mandarin ducks, especially when combined with lotus (yuanyang), conveys the wish for a harmonious marriage, making it fitting decoration for a lady's silver box. Typically, boxes such as this would have served as a container for medicine or a lady's cosmetics. Literature comparison: Compare a related silver box and cover also decorated with mandarin ducks and dated to the Tang dynasty, 4.4 cm diameter, at Christie’s New York, 12 September 2019, lot 544. Auction result comparison: Type: Related Auction: Sotheby’s New York, 21 September 2022, lot 330 Estimate: USD 4,000 or approx. EUR 3,800 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing Description: A copper alloy 'floral' circular box and cover, Tang dynasty Expert remark: Compare the closely related material and incision work. Note the different form and motif as well as the size (9.8 cm).